If you're looking for a Christmas gift for yourself or others, consider Apple® - TV. It's a movie channel, a youtube and iPhoto viewer, 100s of radion stations, and a DVR (watch your (most) shows when you want to).
Years ago I decided to boycott Comcast TV. It was too expensive, makes Fox News possible, and there wasn't any news I couldn't get online. Of course, that limited my TV to just the Basic Channels for $19.95 a month.
Last year, I treated myself to Apple TV when I realized that it's just a tiny box that I could pop onto my new Digital Flatscreen TV (the old big box TV finally died). I then signed up for Hulu and NetFlix for a total of about $16 a month. I found that I had much more programming than anything Comcast was offering and I didn't have to rent anything from Apple because Hulu and NetFlix was a much better, unlimited deal.
I don't watch that much TV but there are a few programs I enjoy. I was happy to find that I could watch "my shows" when I wanted to WITHOUT the ten+ commercials the networks inserted about every 7 minutes on Network TV. Hulu records my shows, like a DVR, with limited commercials. There are also many TV shows that Hulu records ALL the seasons a show has run. Masterpiece Theater for one. I have found some great shows from the UK and Australia that are much better quality than US TV shows. Funny, not disgusting, not violent. Pure entertainment. The Librarians from Australia makes me LOL. I also watch both Jon Stewart and Colbert on Hulu with a one day delay. I can live with that.
Like you, there are times when I need a time out, an escape. I can go to NetFlix and find quality movies anytime, any genre.
I enjoy many of the documentaries to be found on YouTube. YouTube is free for viewing on your big TV, in your comfy TV room, when the Apple TV is hooked up. You can also view your iPhotos on your digital TV for a fun family night. Both Hulu and NetFlix also have a wide range of documentaries.
I can also listen to one of hundreds of radio programs, which include a host of Progressive Channels.
I haven't mentioned either iTunes because I don't use iTunes or a host of other things that are available. I'll leave this discussion to those with some knowledge and expertise.
All for a $99 one-time Apple TV purchase, $19 a month for high speed cable, and $18 a month if you want both Hulu and NetFlix.
I receive the above for just under $40 a month! With the added pleasure of not feeding the greedy, practically a monopoly, Comcast oligarchy I might add.
And, no, I'm not paid to review Apple TV. I just wanted to share how easy it was to provide myself with endless information and entertainment.
I will add that I have an iMac, basic high speed cable hook up, and WiFi with an older, round version Airport Extreme.
The system works seemlessly although once in a while I have to unplug, count to ten, and replug because NetFlix seems to require a reset. The Apple TV sits in front of the TV so this unplub/replug is simple to do.
So, if you enjoy some TV but are tired of the ridiculously high price of Comcast Cable TV, I must say:
I love my Apple TV.
A side note: Since installing Apple TV it has worked perfectly, so I haven't and don't plan on using the Update feature that appears quite often. I simply click on "Don't Upgrade"
Why fix something that is working?
DO READ THE COMMENTS. MANY HAVE GENEROUSLY SHARED THEIR drop comcast versions of Apple TV and other insights/ideas. Comments worthy of reading if you HATE COMCAST too.
I am buying an HD inside Antenna for Christmas this year to end the $19.95 Comcast rip off for local Channels.